CUNEO, St. Ambrose Church
Via Roma, 9 - 12100 CUNEO
7/12.30 - 14.30/19
dal lunedì al venerdì ore 18 - festivi ore 11 / 17.30
The devotion to Saint Ambrose was introduced in Cuneo at the beginning of the 13th century by a group of Milanese (some people from Milan) who helped to build the town. They wanted a church dedicated to their patron saint. Initially, the Benedectine monks from the San Dalmazzo of Pedona Abbey served such church.
Several damages caused by the wars and the building of the citadel wanted by king Emanuele Filiberto led to the demolition of the Romanesque church. The service was moved to the San Defendente chapel, which was extended and consecrated on the 13th September 1599.
The chapel served this function until 1712, when it was demolished to be replaced with the current church.
At the beginning of the 18th century the construction of the new building started under the direction of architect Francesco Gallo. The first stone was laid on the 20th of July 1703, but the building site started the construction only in the year 1710. Due to financial difficulties the building of the church proceeded slowly: the dome was erected by Tommaso Eula between 1733 and 1736 and the bell tower in 1739. The church was consecrated in May 1743.
During the 19th century the church underwent many renovations: in particular, the side chapels were modified and the choir enlarged by Carlo Barabino in 1830.
Designed in Baroque style, the façade was completed only in the 19th century. There are two statues made of stucco, which represent Saint Ambrose and Saint Vincenzo Ferrer, realised by Francesco Bianchini in 1814; in 1890 Carlo Ponzo added to the façade the decoration of the lunette and the bust of the Sacred Heart.
The baptistery comes from the first church. It dates back to the 15th century and it's is attributed to the Zabreri stonecutters from the Maira Valley.
There are six side chapels facing the wavy-profiled nave. On the left-hand side: the chapel of Saint Anne; the chapel of Our Lady of Sorrows, with the beautiful statue dated 1928, the ovals representing the seven sorrows painted by Vincenzo Emina in 1813, and the statue of the Dead Christ dating back to the beginning of the 18th century; and the chapel of Saint Bartholomew, with the beautiful 18th century painting representing the martyrdom of the saint, and the elegant stuccos by Carlo Beltramelli. On the right-hand side: the chapel of Saint John the Baptist, of Saint Omobono and Saint Albert, protectors of the tailors, and depicted here in a painting dated 1726 by Botta, a painter from Cuneo; in the centre of the altar is conserved the urn containing the relicts of Saint Cassiano, which comes from the church of Our Lady of the Annunciation; the chapel of the Sacred Heart was erected here in 1810, and it was dedicated to the Society bearing the same name (it comes from the suppressed church of the Capuchins); above the original altar used to be a rich 18th century painting which was stolen in 1998 and, fortunately, subsequently retrieved. Today it can be admired in the Diocesan Museum in Contrada Mondovì (the quarter of Mondovì). The large crucifix is attributed to Annibale Sereno. Finally, there's is the chapel of the Presentation, seat of the Society of the Daughters of Mary, which contains a painting by Angelo Pastore dated 1844. A crib, which expert masters from Naples prepare since 2010, is contained in the wooden reliquary on the right side; it's is just a little part of the monumental crib that is installed every year in the church during the Christmas holidays.
Choir and Presbitery
Severe neoclassic lines characterize the high altar, which was realised with polychromatic marbles by Carlo and Giovanni Maria Quadrone from Mondovì in 1832. The large painting that represents the Madonna and child and Saint Vincent Ferrer – attributed by some to Milocco – was originally placed in a stucco frame created by Carlo Beltramelli in 1755 and then destroyed. During the years from 1828 to 1830 the background was enlarged and the wooden choir was erected by Carlo Barabino . The second patron saint of the Church, Saint Vincent Ferrer, appears in the painting by Michele Antonio Milocco in the elliptic conch above the altar: he is depicted as a preacher who flagellates the misdeeds committed by people in Europe in the 15th century.
Characterized by a slender structure and a great brightness, it is decorated by a painting realised by Michele Antonio Milocco and Carlo Bianco in 1765, representing the Glory of Saint Ambrose.
The Lingiardi brothers from Pavia built the organ, which dates back to 1872; faithful to the willing of the parish administration, it was made following the model of the one made for the church of Mary Help of Christians in Turin.
Direction: Gianluca de Angelis
Post-Production: TEKLA TV
Copywriter and research: Laura Marino
ROTARY CLUB Cuneo 1925
ROTARY CLUB Cuneo Alpi del Mare
Don Luca Favretto